Bratislava, May 11 (TASR) – President Zuzana Caputova and her Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda plan to visit leaders of countries, especially in Western Europe, with a more restrained attitude towards Ukraine’s candidate status in the European Union, with Caputova suggesting the idea during the talks with Duda at the Presidential Palace in Bratislava on Wednesday.
“For the future and prospects of Europe as well as peace in Europe, it’s important to talk about Ukraine’s position in terms of granting candidate status. This, of course, doesn’t automatically mean full membership for which criteria must be met. But we consider the candidate status to be a natural gesture in the difficult situation in which Ukraine is. Moreover, also in the context of its disappearing membership in the Alliance,” said Caputova.
According to the president, it’s still too early to talk about specific dates or the order of visits. She stated that informal contacts had already taken place with some leaders on the subject.
The leaders also commented on Hungary’s disagreement with the EU embargo on Russian oil. “We’ll do everything we can to explain this situation to Hungary and unite our position, otherwise we must carefully evaluate what this signal of value mismatch means for the future and perspective of the V4 [Visegrad Four: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia],” said Caputova. Duda stressed the importance of political decisions. He understands Hungary’s concerns about the impacts of disconnecting from Russian oil. According to him, the question is what are the country’s plans now.
Duda stated that the Poles understand what Russian terror or Russian propaganda means, referring to historical experience. He emphasised that the Poles are also aware of the need to take care of refugees. “Of course, we need the support of the European Union,” he stated, noting that the finance from the established funds should be allocated depending on how the country is affected by the refugee crisis.
The head of state praised the relations with Poland, emphasising that Poland is to protect Slovakia’s airspace as well as the participation of Polish soldiers in the NATO unit in Slovakia. “At the same time, I believe that we’ll be able to complete the connection to gas supplies to Poland in the summer,” she added.